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The UK Glamping Pocast - Episode 6 - From An Idea To Reality

Gary Finnie, Director of GFM Scot Limited.

Listen Now: Spotify | Youtube | Apple Podcasts

Welcome back to the latest episode of the UK Glamping Podcast, hosted by us here at Glampitect. This week, we are focusing on some of the essential steps that are necessary once you've finally got that all-important approval for your project. With that in mind, our special guest this week is Gary Finney, Director of GFM Scot Limited.

Gary's Expertise and Background:

Gary's journey in the glamping and garden room industry is both extensive and fascinating. He specializes in the installation of garden rooms and glamping pods, covering every trade associated with these projects. Gary's company offers a full turnkey service for glamping site clients, from greenfield to open doors. This includes installing all infrastructure, such as solar resources, water systems, civil works, sewage systems, and even the construction of pods, fencing, signage, decking, and balustrades.

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Gary's extensive background in groundworks and landscaping laid the foundation for his expertise. He started as a young lad in the industry, focusing on patios, driveways, and large areas of re-turfing. This experience introduced him to a multitude of trades within landscaping, including drainage installation, fencing, and decking. Over the years, Gary expanded his skill set, ultimately owning his own construction company, specializing in loft conversions, garage conversions, and extensions. This broad knowledge of the industry, from electricians to plumbers, painters, plasterers, and machinery operators, has equipped Gary with a comprehensive understanding of how all aspects of construction work together.

Transitioning To The Glamping Industry:

A few years ago, Gary decided to shift his focus towards the holiday lodge and glamping industry. He saw a niche and a need for a more environmentally sensitive approach to this sector. Unlike traditional builders who might completely flatten the ground and start extensive infrastructure work, Gary's approach is more sympathetic to the environment. His work emphasizes retaining trees, bushes, and existing plants, and creating natural paths instead of tarred pavements. This eco-friendly approach aligns perfectly with the escapism that glamping offers.

National Reach and AvantGlamp

Whilst based in Scotland, for larger projects, GFM Scot Limited covers the entire UK. They handle day-to-day work throughout Scotland, including areas like Carlisle and Newcastle, and are willing to travel for significant planned projects. A prime example of their national reach is their involvement in the Avant Glamp project, a massive undertaking involving 58 pods, a reception area, large communal areas, and unique features like a floating lily pad decking area.

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Groundworks and Ground Screws

Groundworks are a critical part of any glamping or garden room project, and Gary's expertise shines here. One innovative technology Gary champions is the use of ground screws. These are an eco-friendly alternative to traditional concrete slabs, offering numerous benefits. Ground screws are less invasive, have minimal impact on the water table, and are highly recyclable. They are particularly beneficial for sloped or uneven terrain, providing a stable foundation without the need for extensive excavation.

Gary's company, Ground Screw Scotland, installs ground screws for various purposes, including solar panel arrays, glamping pods, and signage. While ground screws are not always suitable (for instance, in rocky or boulder-strewn areas), they often provide a more environmentally friendly and cost-effective solution compared to concrete slabs.

Glamping Ground Works and Balconies
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Early Plannning and Budgeting

One recurring theme in Gary's advice is the importance of early planning and budgeting. Many clients approach projects with a set budget, only to realize the actual costs are higher than anticipated. By involving experts like Gary early in the process, clients can get realistic cost estimates and explore alternative solutions that fit within their budget. This early consultation can prevent costly mistakes and ensure that projects are both feasible and financially viable from the start.

Eco-Friendly Solutions and Off-Grid Options

As the demand for eco-friendly and off-grid solutions grows, Gary's expertise in this area becomes even more valuable. Solar energy is a popular choice, despite concerns about its effectiveness in less sunny regions. Gary advocates for including solar as part of a broader energy plan, as it can still provide significant benefits even in less sunny climates. Combining renewable energy sources with traditional grid connections can offer a balanced and sustainable energy solution.

Gary also emphasizes the importance of staying up-to-date with technological advancements. The pace of change in renewable energy and eco-friendly technologies is rapid, and solutions that were considered impractical a few years ago may now be viable. Consulting with experts and staying informed about the latest developments can help clients make informed decisions and maximize the sustainability of their projects.

EV Charges and Future Trends

Electric vehicle (EV) charging is another growing consideration for glamping sites and garden rooms. As the popularity of electric vehicles increases, providing EV charging stations becomes a valuable amenity for guests. Gary works with service partners to offer comprehensive solutions, including EV charging, solar installations, and other green technologies. These partnerships ensure that clients receive expert advice and high-quality installations tailored to their specific needs.


Gary Finney and GFM Scot Limited play a crucial role in the garden rooms and glamping industry, offering a comprehensive range of services from initial planning to final installation. Their expertise in groundworks, ground screws, and eco-friendly solutions makes them a valuable partner for any glamping project. Early planning, realistic budgeting, and staying informed about technological advancements are key takeaways for anyone considering a glamping or garden room project. For more information, head over to their website. Planning early and consulting with experts like Gary can save time, money, and ensure a successful and sustainable project.


If you have a specific topic you'd like us to cover in the Podcast? Let us know here:


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